This original Georgian painted silhouette has a great charm to it. Its original oval frame, detailed bronzed profile and gentle antique coloring allow it to become a firm favorite that will blend with ease in to an existing silhouette or folk art grouping.
Although unsigned we can date this silhouette to the 1790 to 1810 period by the fashion and in particular the cap that this older lady is wearing. This style of lace/ organdy cap was popular from the 1750's until the end of the century. It has a very ornate double width pleated frill divided by a central ribboned band that secures at the nape of the neck. The puffed crown of this cap is made of fine sprigged lace netting or fine grade muslin. This type of cap was often referred to as a Dormeuse Cap. This older lady wears a small frill around her neck with draped handkerchief tucked in to her waistline. Please see paintings by such artists as Sir Nathaniel Dance Holland 1735-1811 (A girl seated in a flowered dress), Francis Wheatley's Mrs Pearce and John Hoppner portrait of Mrs Williams circa 1790 to name but a few.
When examined under magnification you can see that our example is painted in black textured paint upon a plain paper. We have not examined this silhouette outside of the frame and so at this stage cannot tell if the paper is laid or wove. The old paper is clearly unbleached which you can tell from the gentle darkening with age. The female sitter has a vast amount of detail lavished up on her by the use of bronzing (the addition of gold highlights). This gilt embellishment really brings the sitter to life as light, shadow and intricate folds and pleats are all apparent on her headwear and clothing. Housed within a contemporary oval fruitwood frame with its original top hanger.
Frame Size: 4 7/8" by 4 2/8". Visible silhouette 3.25" by 2.75".
Condition: Good but not perfect. The paper ground has two historic watermarks, one feint one at 6 o'clock and a smaller but darker one at 4 o'clock. The original oval frame has an old and good repair at 12 o'clock -so, so common with oval frames. There is wear to the top outer edge where we suspect that a few old nibbles to the frame edge have been sanded smooth. The glass has probably been replaced at some point as the backing paper is not the original.
This is a delightful George III era profile just waiting to become part of a new family grouping.
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